“So why has Sinn Fein become just another nationalist party?”

Invited or not, in yesterday’s Irish News Patrick Murphy had some thoughts relevant to the conversation Sinn Féin’s Toiréasa Ferris professed to want. Starting with the International Representative for west Belfast’s whistle-stop World Tour. From the Irish News article

Some see this not so much as politics, more as show business. (You’ve seen the stage show, now buy the CDs: Sinn Fein at Carnegie Hall, Sinn Fein Sings the National Anthem, Your Favourite Christmas Hits with Sinn Fein, Sinn Fein Sings Shirley Bassey).

If republicans are, by tradition, revolutionary and radical it would be reasonable to expect their economic policies to include, for example, opposition to the use of private finance in health and education projects. That, of course, would put them at odds with all other parties. Surely republicans are meant to be out of step with capitalism and conservatism? If not, what makes them different?